Last Updated on July 29, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 324
1. The Rifle mentions that "a large religious encampment in Texas had been raided and burned and all the people killed in the action," in Waco. What was this event? When did it happen? What does it have to do with keeping weapons?
2. Byam participates in a battle that is a stalemate of trench warfare. What battle was this? How was it fought? Who won?
3. Byam dies of disease. How many troops in the continental army died of disease? What were the diseases? What was done to treat the diseases? What was done to prevent them? Did anything work?
4. What is the origin of the flintlock rifle? What is its history? Why did people stop making it?
5. The Rifle mentions British troops hanging civilians without trial. Where did this occur? Why was it done? What was America's reaction to these outrages?
6. Byam knows nothing of the war against England. How fast did news travel in his era in America? How often might people not have known about important events?
7. What were the British rules for engagement that would have officers constantly exposing themselves to pointless deaths as they do in The Rifle?
8. What is a gun show of the sort mentioned in The Rifle? Who runs them? How are they run? How are guns bought and traded? How might The Rifle of The Rifle be traded at gun shows?
9. What amendment to the Constitution mentions guns? What does it say? Why do some argue that it says that people can own guns without government interference? Why do some say it applies only to militias and not to everybody?
10. What is the proper care and handling for a rifle like that in The Rifle? Where should someone check to find out? Why?
11. Could the owners of The Rifle be prosecuted for committing a crime for its killing Richard? If not, why not? If so, then what laws might have been broken? What would be the punishment?
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